Kwabena’s Reviews: Abdul Karim’s Stage Adaptation of “I Told You So”

Krachi Powers is one of those phrases you most likely heard in your childhood circle of friends if you happen to either be an 80s or 90s baby. The phrase carried some weight of importance to it. Sounded like a spell whipped out of a Harry Potter book, something you said to will your way to a desired end. However, piecing the etymology of the first word in the phrase gives you some understanding to what the word means.

My scanty understanding of the Akan language tells me that the word refers to learned persons, usually individuals with white collar jobs. So essentially, Krachi Powers is the type of powers that is able to scale government red tapes and in some sense, act as a proxy of the government. So when someone tells you “I’ll show you my Krachi Powers” and he happens to not be bluffing, then you might really be in some serious trouble. If the person tells you “ I am using the triple condition of my Krachi powers” then you better take him very serious. Unless of course the person is Esuabrobuo.

You could pin it on the inefficiencies that dominate the Ghanaian film industry or a general lack of appreciation for our history but we are definitely being shortchanged so long as we do not get to relive through motion pictures, some of the things that happened in our history. Thankfully, on Sunday 6th August 2017, we were treated to a stage adaptation of one of such classical Ghanaian stories which for so long has been shelved away in dusty cupboards somewhere.

Abdul Karim Hakib’s stage adaptation of “I Told You So” was a glorious opportunity for millennials like myself to experience something that has been glorified as a Ghanaian classic. It also was an opportunity for baby boomers and the generation X crowd to relive what they most likely grew up on.

The denouement of the plot is easily gleaned from the title. At the end of the day, someone was going to regret a decision he or she took. In this case, it happened to be an entire village that was caught under the spell of a native who had returned home in search of a wife and was splashing and flaunting his money all over town. Esuabrobuo, the man who repeatedly threatens to use his triple conditions of Krachi powers on his in-law was the one who had the most to regret.

The stage adaptation, just like the original movie, is a series of musical performances on the themes of the movie, interspersed with a reproduction of the interplay between traditional Ghanaian society and the western pop culture that surrounded it at the time. True to its Ghanaian origin, the end game of the plot was to be a moral lesson. A lesson deeply rooted in an aversion to greed and in some ways, wealth in general.

Kwabena Jones, the borga who wanted to marry the damsel of the town, was apparently a thief who made his wealth off the sale of stolen diamonds. It is curious how Kwesi Twii, the father of Rosina the damsel, insisted on not marrying his daughter off to Kwabena Jones even without a preliminary investigation into his source of income. Like some Marxist, he only wanted to marry his daughter off to a poor man but at the end of the day, his decision was fortuitous enough to give him the right to say I Told You So!

Given that most of these classical movies were recorded at a time when video production was in its nascent days and the best to be produced were grainy pictures with horrible sound, Abdul Karim Hakib’s stage adaptation is highly important to preserving the history of our creative arts!

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